Territorial Outlook

Updated: June 28, 2021

Global recovery likely to drive demand for commodities produced in Canadian territories

There are reasons to be optimistic as the territories emerge into a post-COVID-19 world. As the global economy bounces back over the coming years, so too will demand for commodities produced in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and Yukon.

Yukon has had the most success. With new mines set to open, the economic outlook for Yukon is mainly positive; despite the pandemic Nunavut’s economic growth has been strong in the short term, but may become moderate due to the pandemic’s impact on the territory’s burgeoning tourism sector. Northwest Territories is different from other Canadian territories. Its story is one of muted growth. With production set to decrease at two of the territory’s three diamond mines element’s contribution to the economy will decline in the coming years.

Contents of the Territorial Outlook:

  • Mining 
  • Construction
  • Tourism and hospitality


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Key findings

The pandemic hurt Yukon’s tourism and hospitality industry in 2020 by pushing up unemployment and will weigh on this sector again this year. However, a loosening of self-isolation requirements among other measures signals that the situation is improving.

COVID-19 has compounded the pre-existing trend of falling exploration expenditures in Nunavut. This poses a risk to future mine openings and, by extension, economic growth.

Canada’s economy is on the road to recovery. Some of the highest vaccination rates in the country are among territorial communities. And while the pandemic’s effects will linger, there are reasons for optimism as the territories emerge into a post-COVID-19 world.

After falling in 2020, the Northwest Territories’ real GDP is projected to bounce back, growing by 14.2 per cent in 2021.

Issue briefings

Territorial long-term outlooks


New Projects, Bright Prospects

11-min read  |  June 28, 2021


Northwest Territories

Diamonds’ Shine is Dulled, but Bright Spots in Store

11-min read  |  June 28, 2021


Busy Mines to Pave the Way

11-min read  |  June 28, 2021